As we have all let the dust settle on Saturday's events we now turn our attention to the next leg of the Strikeforce tournament. As Strikeforce has begun to figure out how to keep Fedor on the tournament semi-finals card the perfectly logical idea of pitting Fedor against the loser of Fabricio vs Reem has been discussed and is likely. What I have seen here and in many other places is that is an automatic Fedor vs Werdum rematch. I don't think so.
I do not see Alistair Overeem getting past Werdum. Let's look at Werdum's career. He has faced fighters with enormous power. Guys like Alistair, Fedor, Arlovski, Bigfoot, Kharitonov, Gonzaga, Aleks and JDS. Yet, the only time he was ever knocked out was against JDS. That was a fight he unwisely took for granted and came in out of shape. He is a fighter that has proven to be very difficult to knock out. The one person who did is arguably the best striker in the heavyweight division today. Outside of that fight I have never seen Fabricio enter a fight without a detailed game plan. Here is a fun fight to watch if you haven't seen it.
Aleksander Emelianenko vs Fabricio Werdum (via ray321x)
Along with Fabricio's excellent BJJ skills I find that he has among the sport's top fighting IQ's. Along with his game plan he anticipates what his opponent is going to do better than most fighters. Fabricio is much faster than people give him credit for and when he gets you to the ground he smothers you. Also, it is not like he can't strike either. He trains his striking game at the famous Chute Box Academy and has a black belt in Muay Thai. He has stopped four of his fights by KO or TKO. But, his bread and butter is his BJJ and it gets better and better. People talk about how when Alistair faced Fabricio last Reem was a much different fighter. I would say that Fabricio is as well. His BJJ skills have improved to another level and we also watched him outbox Bigfoot.
Alistair is a monster and a well placed knee could throw my argument out the window. I just don't see Fabricio getting himself in a position for that to happen. Fabricio doesn't have to take Alistair down, he has to lure him down and as aggressive as Alistair is I don't think that will be a problem. Once he is on the ground Alistair has to spend all the oxygen in those muscles to deal with Fabricio's grappling. That, I think will be a huge problem for him. We have not seen the new Ubereem face off against a grappler of Fabricio's skills and we don't know what his tank will be like once he is on the ground. He has been training primarily for K-1 and this is a huge shift. The last guy he faced with Werdum's skill was, well, Werdum and that didn't work out for him. Take a look at the Rogers fight. Yes, Alistair tosses Rogers across the ring at the 3:51 mark but then it takes him till the 1:24 mark to finish him. If Alistair spends that much time on the ground with Werdum it is not going to bode well for him.
Werdum is brimming with confidence right now. You can see when he talks about his fight with Alistair he knows something we don't and he can't wait to show us. I can't wait either.